Until now, my most memorable Thanksgiving was in Ramallah (the West Bank) where I cooked an American Thanksgiving dinner for the Episcopalian bishop of Jerusalem. But now I have a close contender.
Eight inches of fresh Alaskan snow and an afternoon spent with 15 sled dogs. That's a day after Thanksgiving to remember.
Called & Gifted alumni Eric Rogers and his wife Marti generously invited my sister (Becky), brother-in-law (Rod) and myself over to their house to meet their sled dogs, experience a sled dog ride (on a ATV as there wasn't quite enough snow for the sled), and hear all about the famous Iditarod: the Last Great Race. It is the ultimate dog sled race: 1,150 miles from Anchorage to Nome in March, when the snow pack is the heaviest. Temperatures of -60 F are not uncommon. The winner will do it in about 10 days. The last finisher may take two weeks.
Eric is a member of a very select group. As he pointed out, more people have climbed Mt. Everest than have finished an Iditarod. About 670 so far. Eric has finished three times and hopes to go for number 4.
Among this rare breed of men and women, Eric is one of a kind. The only physicist-musher in the race. Eric's passion for the race is compelling, he obviously loves his dogs who are very loving and playful, he and Marti are great fun, and the ride and getting to help with the dogs was a blast.